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Back On The Trail

The long winter months are slowly fading into the past and, the anticipation of spring rejoices and demands our attention. The Great Wagon Road Project has not been silent and quiet all winter. Various investigations have occurred with a suspected route dipping into the northern section of North Carolina near present-day Highway 220 in Rockingham County. The Moravians clearly traveled this particular route per their diaries and journals during the year 1753. The question is, Does this route fit the description of the Great Wagon Road? According to recent evidence uncovered, the answer is probably not. But, stay tuned for the latest developments on this route from Roanoke, Virginia, to the Wachovia Tract.

Old Stone Church located in Augusta County, Virginia. This church stood along the Great Wagon Road and majority of families would see the original building as they journeyed onward. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

An older route has emerged through various documents, old letters, and a few survey maps of southern Virginia. This route dates before 1748 with documented proof. An overwhelming amount of evidence exists proclaiming this route wide enough to accompany wagons by 1751. As the project begins to uncover this route, reference materials are identified, noted, and filed. The project receives several possible leads nearly every week since the project originated. These have been non-stop through the winter break, and interviews, photos, and reference points on each submission become part of the project.

March 15th is the big day when the project begins again after the onset of the coronavirus. The majority of university libraries are still closed to the public adding closures for historical museums and organizations. But the project is moving forward and rejoicing in the warm sunshine as many road trips for the summer months are anticipated.

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